Changing of the Calendar

The weak, winter sunshine attempts to permeate the under appreciated burgundy curtains. It finds a hole created by one of Rufus' mad dashes to the window.

Sun spills over the bed, the blankets and finally meets my face, gently refusing to let me sleep in on my day off.

I keep my eyes closed. It's morning and the house is in it's rare quiet state.

As quiet as a house can be.

I hear the coffee maker chugging along ensuring a happy start to my mothers' morning.

The furnace  just kicked on expelling wonderful heat throughout the house. Rufus struggles out underneath our heavy blankets and his pads softly hit the carpet. I don't have to look to know he is cuddling up to the vent that is blowing heat and dreams of tropical paradise all over his tan chihuahua body.

My mom is sleeping peacefully and I can tell because I can hear her melodious snoring from my room.

But none of the noise is present yet.

No radio or television is on. No rustling papers or magazines. No excited chihuahua running up and down squeaking his favorite toys. No talking.

Just a chilly house that doesn't need to be explored yet because I am still getting acquainted with my warm bed and blankets.

My husband isn't home from work yet.

The debate of getting up is raging well in my head. My eyes are still closed enjoying the luxury that is not doing anything on a Saturday morning.

My day unfolds behind my eyelids. Planning and prioritizing my errands, chores and plans.

And I remember it's March today.

March 1st.

Which means we flip our calendar.

Right as I open my eyes I hear my husbands keys in the door.

The silence is gone.

My chihuahua runs barking excitedly, as his nails clip clop on the kitchen linoleum to greet his human.

My husband calls out a good morning to our pup and I can hear the smile in his voice.

His foot steps stop and I know he's bending down and pulling off his boots then will pick up Rufus to be attacked with wet kisses all over his face.

My mom starts stirring. I hear her shuffling first to the bathroom. Then after the bathroom faucet turns off I know her next destination is her beloved coffee pot.

After a few minutes my husband comes into our bedroom with a "Good morning Starshine" and I accept my fate.

We go over our top threes. Our three bad parts of the day and our top three favorite parts of our days.

It started when we found ourselves working opposite shifts always seemingly one of us running out the door when the other was coming home. Or one of us waking when the other is just laying down to sleep.

It's a lovely time to connect. Even on days when we have more than a few minutes with each other.

He asked me if I knew what day it was and I told him it was March first. For the first time this morning I sit up.

Everyone has certain rituals in their households that they get excited they can carry out.

For some it's dragging out Christmas decorations after Thanksgiving. Others love the day they realize they can break ground and plant their flowers. Some enjoy tax day and the relief of being done with them early.

For us, it's when it is time to change the calendar.

I promise it's more exciting than it sounds.

Every first of the month, we flip the glossy page to expose a new month and pretty picture.

We will read the informational facts and compare the new picture to the last one.

The holidays and birthdays will be noted so we know who to send a birthday card to and which days to remember we won't be getting mail.

Most importantly, we will go over our schedules. We will sync up our work and volunteer schedules and plan our date days.

My husband will take charge with his chicken scratch writing and permanent marker and pencil in our dates.

And I cannot help but get excited when we hit a bingo and we both have a day off.

We used to get frustrated that our shifts were opposite and the thought of missed opportunities to hang out would dampen a day off like a spring storm destroying a paper dress.

We would get feisty with each other because we missed each other.

After a particularly rude argument we both agreed we needed to focus on time for us.

So, we decided to schedule each other in our lives. We don't break our plans unless it's an emergency.

We only switch the calendar when we're both here. Even if it's a couple days into the new month.

Working and volunteering is all fine and dandy. Making money is great. Paying bills is even better. But spending time with people you love?

That's worth more than anything on this earth.

You can, if necessary, find another job. You can if need be, be late on your bills. You cannot however, get back time.

Ever.

Every flip of the calendar comes sooner as the year goes by. Time refuses to slow down.

As much as we complain about the wintry snow, before we know it flowers will be bursting forth, the summer sun will be too hot and the leaves will be changing into their beautiful, colorful autumn line.

When we pour over the little boxes on our calendar, it doesn't make me upset thinking of the days we only get to see each other in passing.

It makes me happy that we take a staunch stand on our time. That no matter how busy life is we can always make time for those we love.

And just like that I'm ready to start my day.

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